Centrelink fraudster sent to jail
A BUNDABERG woman is behind bars after being caught defrauding Centrelink for the second time.
Lee-Anne Joy Broome, 43, pleaded guilty in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday to collecting the single parenting payment, worth $7869, between August 2008 and August 2009 while not declaring her income correctly.
Broome was sentenced to six months' jail and will serve a minimum three months' non-parole period, to be followed by a three-year good behaviour bond.
The defendant was also ordered to pay back the defrauded money.
Centrelink general manager Hank Jongen said the public had a right to be angered by those who defrauded the welfare system.
“This is effectively ripping off the taxpayer and the message from this sentence is clear – if you commit welfare fraud, the system will catch up with you,” Mr Jongen said.
“Australia's about giving people a fair go, and our welfare system gives people who are genuinely in need of a safety net when they can't support themselves.”
To report a suspected fraud, call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 13 15 24, head to www.centrelink.gov.au or visit a local branch.